Sweden Stepping Up Efforts to Control Online Gambling

Published Friday, January 04, 2013 - Online-Casinos.com

Sweden has always been socially responsible to its citizens and has kept a watchful eye on issues facing the nation’s vulnerable and less fortunate. The recent proliferation on online gambling offerings has given rise to the Prime Minister’s announcing he would like to see more control exercised over the country’s gambling industry.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt wants a slew of new proposals to be presented by the summer of 2013. The report released by the National Audit Office in 2012 outlined a surge in gambling problems among specific segments of the gambling public. It was revealed by the report that over the past decade approximately 2% of the 9.5 million Swedes have developed an addictive gambling habit. The report identified competition from so called illegal online gambling operators as the reason for the rise in gambling problems. The report suggested that the offshore market for gambling services has given players more variety of products available and access to better payouts and prizes. The use of so called illegal sites is “widespread and growing.”

Although offshore operators were partially to blame for the issues brought to light state-controlled Svenska Spel, was not exempt from the reports scope for criticism. The report noted that “[Svenska Spel] does not currently take sufficient account of the risks involved with pathological gambling.”The firm does have restrictions for punters such as a daily spend limit and the number of hours that a player can participate in bingo, or poker or casino related games, yet the National Audit Office report says the organization is still not doing enough.

Sweden’s vague and ineffective licensing system was also mentioned as an issue that needs addressing. The report has recommended this cautious approach, “If gaming policy is not implemented in a consistent and systematic way in the light of the objective to be achieved, there is a risk that this is contrary to the criteria for regulation in the European Union Treaty which may also result in gambling policy not working in an efficient and expedient manner.”

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